Please help North Korean Refugees!

Fundraiser by Selene Siyun

This fundraiser supports General Fund

$294.56 remaining
$122 raised
30% of $416 goal

About This Fundraiser

Please help North Korean Refugees learn English!

Hi Everyone! My name is Selene Pan and I am a current student at UWC Costa Rica 19’. (UWC Changshu 17’ Pre-IB graduate)

Last summer, I volunteered for an amazing organization in South Korea—TNKR(Teach North Korean Refugees), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping refugees find their own voice, through connecting volunteers, coaches and refugees, to provide English tutoring and English speech-coaching for the refugees. They just held their 7th English Speech Contest last week!

English proficiency is a huge obstacle for North Korean refugees residing in South Korea, in terms of personal development, business transactions and even every day interactions. TNKR gives them the opportunity to raise up their voice on an international stage, to speak about their lives and North Korea, to share with others their struggles, their goals and their lives. In this way, more people at a local and international stage could learn about their experiences and further help them in more ways.

I believe a lot of you have seen a viral video on facebook, in which there is a young North Korean girl speaking at One Young World Summit. The speaker is North Korean Refugee Park Yeonmi, a former student of TNKR who was later admitted by Columbia University. (If you have not, here’s the link!

Due to the fact that TNKR is a private-owned organization and does not receive any governmental funding, the entire NGO depends on private and public donations as well as funding events.
Having worked in the office closely with the founders as well as other volunteers, I witnessed their passion as well as the massive amount of work and heart they have put into events and projects.

At last, shoutout to all UWCers. If you are a UWCer or an UWC alumni, no matter which corner of the world you and your college is in, I believe you understand the very importance of education, especially English when it comes to refugees, as we all have refugee friends in the UWC college we are in.

TNKR and I would be truly grateful for your contribution. Even just a 5-dollar donation could make a difference! We are all in this together and thank you for being one of the change makers:)

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About General Fund

In November 2016, the Ministry of Unification in South Korea reported that the number of North Korean refugees escaping to South Korea had surpassed 30,000. Various media report various challenges that refugees face in adjusting to South Korea. An estimated 35 percent of refugees are unemployed, 80 percent work in menial jobs, and refugees who are employed earn 50% of what South Koreans earn.

Escaping North Korea is the first battle many refugees face. Many report that English is a major barrier for many of them, as they struggle with "Konglish" words that have seeped into the South Korean language. TNKR helps refugees by connecting them with volunteer tutors. Since its founding in March 2013, TNKR has connected 315 refugees with more than 650 volunteer tutors and coaches.

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